Definition of savanna in US English:


(also savannah)


  • 1A grassy plain in tropical and subtropical regions, with few trees.

    • ‘Rwanda is known as Africa's Tibet: As far as the eye can see, there are green hills and banana trees rather than typical African savannas.’
    • ‘The kingela tree found in the savanna is fast-growing and is therefore a symbol of fertility for the Nkanu.’
    • ‘The lowlands include savannas, swamps, tropical rainforests, and semi-deserts.’
    • ‘Uganda's tropical forests, tea plantations, rolling savannahs, and arid plains are home to half of Africa's bird species.’
    • ‘The terrain consists of high plateaus, large savannas, and hilly areas; the highest altitude is in the Muchinga Mountains, at 6,000 feet.’
    • ‘The country is comprised of a wide variety of agro-ecological zones: low-lying coastal plains, a dry highland plateau, northern savannas, and cool, well-watered regions in the northwest and south.’
    • ‘These farmers have already devastated much of the savannah and transitional rainforest of Mato Grosso in southern Amazonia, transforming the landscape into a green sea of soyabeans.’
    • ‘Nigeria has three main environmental regions: savanna, tropical forests, and coastal wetlands.’
    • ‘The sun is setting over the monotonous green of the tropical plains, sculpting in bronze the creatures that cross the savannah.’
    • ‘They can be found in a rich assemblage of habitats from rivers to caves, savannas, wetlands, prairies, lakeshores, and forests.’
    • ‘At that time, the lowland savannas were settled by large numbers of farmer-herders who were ancestors to present-day Luo and Kipsigis.’
    • ‘Certainly the re-creation of natural habitats, from the African savannah to the Asian wetlands and Australia's variety, is exceptional.’
    • ‘One-quarter of the territory endures practically in its wild state with rainforests, dry tropical forest, and savannas.’
    • ‘Tropical savannahs cover 1.9 million square kilometres - that's about a quarter of mainland Australia.’
    • ‘The forest floor on my land, with its dense layer of needles and duff, burned hotter and harder than the grassy savanna.’
    • ‘Humankind has always been filled with the urge to spread, to carve out new territories and experience new vistas, from the time we wandered down from the trees to explore the savannahs, and this urge fills us still.’
    • ‘In contrast, eastern Paraguay has rolling hills, richer soils, lush semitropical forests, and grassy savannas.’
    • ‘Even the ostrich squawk as they make their way across the sandvelt to open marshlands and savannahs dotted with acacia, baobab trees and wild sage bushes.’
    • ‘The earth's remaining wilderness would be in even greater danger if the opening of northern markets were to create a financial incentive for developing nations to replace forests, savannas and wetlands with land-wasting peasant farms.’
    • ‘Volunteers, environmental groups, and government agencies are now restoring its 19,000 acres of prairie, woodlands, savannas, and wetlands.’
    grassland, flatland, lowland, pasture, meadowland, open country, prairie, savannah, steppe
    View synonyms
  • 2A large cat of a breed that is a cross between a domestic cat and an African serval.

    ‘the Savannah is noted for its outgoing personality’
    ‘we hear that Savannah cats love water’
    • ‘My daughter came for a visit with her Savannah cat.’
    • ‘Savannahs have been described as a "super cat" for their size and behavior.’
    • ‘Within a month, she had enough money to pay her rent and establish a life for herself in Portland, where she currently lives with her girlfriend and their Savannah cat.’
    • ‘We take great pride in our extremely sociable Savannah kittens.’
    • ‘"We are absolutely thrilled," says the Savannah breeder who owns the Californian-based pet shop with her husband Lee.’
    • ‘Currently there are four handmade spotted domestic cats: the Bengal, the California spangle cat, the ocicat, and the Savannah.’
    • ‘Savannahs have dog-like personality and endless energy for the ideal family pet!’
    • ‘My family's savannah cat just gave birth to a litter of four kittens.’
    • ‘We have 6 adult Savannahs and 4 younger cats.’
    • ‘For those considering buying Savannah kittens for sale on the internet you should be careful who you buy from.’


Mid 16th century: from Spanish sabana, from Taino zavana.